Last year, the Oklahoma Sooners started to look like a legitimate D1 college basketball team for the first time since Blake Griffin roamed campus. Lon Kruger has turned the Oklahoma Sooners back into a team that expects to win. However, this season brings a difficult transition for his team.
After playing so well last year, Romero Osby, Amath M’Baye and Sam Grooms are all gone.
That means it is time for Cameron Clark to step up and take over the leadership role that has been left vacant.
Clark is a quiet player, but he said recently that he spoke to Romero Osby, who told Clark that he just needed to work hard and lead by example. He said if he does that then everything else will come. Coach Kruger also knows that Clark is not the kind of player that Osby was, and while he wants him to have leadership qualities, he would be happy if it was more a committee on the young Sooners’ team.
Teammate Bully Hield said that he has noticed a change in Clark. He said that, while he used to be a quiet player, he is now someone who will step up and give advice and encouragement. He said Clark doesn’t yell, but when he speaks, his teammates listen and respect him.
This is also a Clark who started 60 games in his first two seasons at OU, and then moved to the bench for his junior campaign. He has learned a lot from the seniors that OU brought in, and now that he is back in the starting lineup in his senior year, he can start to provide those same lessons to the young players on the team.
Last season, OU finished 20-12, a rare winning record for a team that had fallen on hard times. They ranked third in the Big 12 on offense and fourth on defense. This year, it is Clark that will have to lead the time, the only senior in a starting lineup otherwise filled with sophomores.
“I just want to teach them how I would like to be taught,” Clark said. “That’s what I’m trying to do for my freshmen and sophomores.”
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